Frontline healthcare workers had a 3.4-times greater risk of contracting the novel coronavirus compared to the general population, according to new observational data.

The study published in Lancet Public Health looked at infection rates in more than 99,000 frontline clinicians in the US and UK and found the highest risk occurred in Black, Hispanic and Asian HCWs.

There were 5,545 positive COVID-19 test results overall. According to Andrew T Chan, MD, MPH, and colleagues, HCWs faced a higher risk for reporting a positive COVID-19 result than the general population (adjusted HR = 11.61; 95% CI, 10.93-12.33). After the researchers adjusted the results to account for differences in testing frequency between HCWs and the general population, the risk was still more than three times higher (HR = 3.40; 95% CI, 3.37-3.43) for HCWs.